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  • By katznip1
    Oct 15, 2009
    "Green Eros - unforgettable and a real delight." I found the novel 'Green Eros' enchanting on all fronts: it is highly original and beautifully written, with startlingly fresh imagery, an engaging narrative, likeable characters and a satisfyingly deep philosophical undercurrent. It's also full of dead-pan yet ludicrously funny moments which made me laugh out loud. The novel feels unforgettably atmospheric, perhaps thanks to the power of the imagery and the empathic connection between the hero's inner world and the natural world around him, e.g. (p.177): '...the sky glowed with a huge fading blue. The swifts were back, and tore through the slender air like paper knives opening up memories of old summers...' And also the great characterisation and dialogue, e.g (p.35): ...‘What’s in this?’ asked Paul, spooning the stew down hungrily. ‘Mainly Juniper’s organic vegetables,’ Jim replied. ‘And the bread’s his recipe too.’ ‘It all tastes inexplicably delicious,’ Paul said, as... More > if confronted with a philosophical conundrum. ‘That’s called being stoned,’ I told him... The novel is narrated in a delightful dead-pan way by its hero, the self-named Juniper Johnson. Juniper is a spirited yet innocent, resolutely eco-conscious, gentle-hearted yet romantically wounded and emotionally knackered young philosopher who is trying to discern what it really means to live and love fully as a man: a problem which pitches him first into heartbreak and then into an ambitious philosophical quest to seek, find and understand the real essence of love. He does this while (among other things) rolling spliffs with his mates, pursuing a love affair with an unbearably beautiful woman, hanging out with a Buddhist monk, rescuing his cousin from her crazed ex-husband, tracking down his friend Jim in a dark underworld, trying to write a thesis, and bonding with Archie the reluctantly-neutered cat! As I was reading I gradually realised that everything in the novel - sometimes even the imagery and scenery itself - is playing a well-crafted and important part in illuminating and answering the story's key question. Even Juniper's day-dream about Leo the Lion! I found this quite thrilling while I was reading - the sense that in a subtle and clever way the novel is a philosophical argument in itself, as well as a great story. I think my favourite bits of all are the highly intellectual and often totally inane philosophical arguments across the kitchen table between Juniper and his philosopher mates, many of whom are mildly stoned at the time. Juniper narrates it all to the reader with a totally straight face, which makes it even funnier. And sometimes the magic is simply in the description of someone - e.g. (p. 39): ...‘What do you know?’ Tim shouted back. A muffled roar flew past the unruffled cranes, as if the volcano was coming back to life. Jim’s craggy visage stared like a hot bear’s over the plump beige of the futon... I found this novel very emotionally appealing. It's one of those novels where the characters are solid, idiosyncratic and endearingly human, and I was moved by the way each character grows through their experiences. Best of all, Juniper finds the wisdom he's been seeking, and his final understanding of love feels meaningful and enlightening to me. It is great to read a novel that's so fresh, funny and also fascinating. I guess the wisdom and poetic magic in this novel should be no surprise, as the author is also a philosopher and well-published poet. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who loves well-written fiction; anyone who appreciates breathtakingly fresh imagery and dialogue; anyone who enjoys mischievously understated humour; and anyone who wants to finally get to grips with that strange, wild and precious thing called love.< Less
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Product Details

ISBN
9780955855405
Publisher
Apus Press
Published
July 18, 2008
Language
English
Pages
216
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
0.84 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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